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Mason City leaders react to Chamber of Commerce newsletter

NorthIowaToday.com published an editorial that was critical of a newsletter that the Mason City Chamber of Commerce posted on it’s website.
Read that article here.

On the very first page of the newsletter, the Mason City Chamber of Commerce chose to share the following words about Mason City:

  • “Acrimonious local environment”
  • “Our City Council is a joke”
  • “The importance of community harmony is not understood ñ especially among local elected officials”
  • Read the newsletter here.

    NorthIowaToday.com was able to reach Robin Anderson at her office and she shared the following explanation: “These (responses listed above) were common responses. That’s the perception (of Mason City) by our members.” When asked why the Chamber would publish such negative information about Mason City, Anderson said “We try to be pretty transparent.”

    NorthIowaToday.com attempted to reach John Michel, President-Elect of the Mason City Chamber of Commerce, but calls to his cell phone and place of work were not returned.

    NorthIowaToday.com received the following feedback from Mason City elected leaders:

    Mason City Mayor Eric Bookmeyer: “No comment.”

    City Council member Don Nelson: Not the kind of information they should publish. Very inappropriate. Mean, vicious, and un-called for. I hold Robin Anderson (Chamber Director) responsible for these words. By the way, I think this is a great town.”

    City Council member Janet Solberg: “Interesting. I’d have to look at the context. I really haven’t read it.” Solberg claimed she had a printed copy in front of her, without the negative words on it. Solberg is a member of the Executive Committee of Visit Mason City Iowa, which has ties to the Chamber of Commerce.

    City Council member Scott Tornquist: “I don’t like it. An incredible lack of discretion to publish what they did.”

    City Council member Max Weaver: “I’ve grown to expect nothing less from the self-anointed queen of the community (referring to Robin Anderson). I’ve had it up to here with her shenanigans. I’m tired of her spoon feeding her membership: how to think, how to talk, how to vote. I got a question for Robin’s membership: What are you getting out of this besides getting to pay dues?”

    City Council member Jeff Marsters: “I have to say I was offended and disappointed by the Chamber publicizing such negative comments like these. I find the Chamber of Commerce many times guilty of being part of the problem. It was far from necessary to publish such comments and in their own published words certainly no example of harmony on their part. The truth be known, the Chamber and their Special Interests projects often creates much of the council controversy.”

    City Council member Travis Hickey was unable to be reached for comment. Hickey is a member of the Executive Committee of Visit Mason City Iowa, which has ties to the Chamber of Commerce.||

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